Automotive Service Councils of California


November 1, 2013
Unperformed and Underperformed Automotive Maintenance
27 Percent of Total Aftermarket Potential

According to the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), unperformed and underperformed automotive maintenance represents 27 percent of the total aftermarket potential. Its recently released report,"Unperformed Maintenance," is based on analysis of a broad spectrum of product groups, including regular maintenance, engine, undercar, cooling and air conditioning; the dollar figure is reported in end-consumer dollars spent, including parts and labor and, in 2012, totaled $66 billion, a near-record high. AASA has reported the estimate of vehicle maintenance that is unperformed or underperformed annually since 1978.


Interstate Batteries Named Preferred Brand by Automotive Technicians


In an annual survey conducted by Frost & Sullivan, U.S. automotive technicians voted Interstate Batteries their preferred brand for the sixth consecutive year. It dominated the automotive battery category, with one out of every two automotive technicians choosing Interstate as their preferred brand.  According to the study, 94 percent of technicians whose shops primarily install Interstate Batteries' products rate that as the top brand.  Additionally, 19 percent of those who do not primarily install Interstate Batteries select that brand as the best overall, as well.


KS Industries Fined $230,000 for Diesel Fleet Violations

Company Failed to Install Filters to Reduce Diesel Emissions


SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board has fined Bakersfield-based KS Industries, an engineering and construction firm, $230,250 for failing to update its diesel trucks to clean up harmful emissions as required by state anti-pollution laws.


ARB investigators cited the company for missing two key compliance deadlines. KS Industries failed to clean up its fleet in accordance with the State Truck and Bus Regulation, retrofitting 1996 - 1999 model year heavy duty trucks with diesel particulate filters by Jan. 1, 2012, and 2000 - 2004 model year trucks by Jan. 1, 2013.


Of the $230,250 owed by KS Industries, $172,688 was paid to the California Air Pollution Control Fund to fund air pollution research, while the remaining $57,562 has been paid to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution District to fund the School Bus Retrofit Supplemental Environmental Project.


In addition, as part of the settlement, KS Industries will also:


*     Ensure that staff responsible for compliance with the diesel truck emission inspection program attend a diesel education course and provide certificates of completion within six months;


*     Instruct vehicle operators to comply with the state's idling regulations;


*     Ensure that trucks have the most recent engine-operating software installed to limit the amount of NOx (NOx, or oxides of nitrogen, is a primary ingredient of smog);


*     Ensure that all 1974 and newer diesel-powered vehicles are up to federal emissions standards for the vehicle model year and are properly labeled with an engine certification label;


*     Become compliant with the Truck and Bus Regulation by November 15, 2013.


Diesel exhaust contains a variety of harmful gases and over 40 other known cancer-causing compounds. In 1998, California identified diesel particulate matter as a toxic air contaminant based on its potential to cause cancer, premature death and other health problems.


New Black Boxes Could Usher in Road-Usage Tax

By Kelsey


Cast into the limelight during Toyota's unintended-acceleration crisis, automotive black boxes - also called event data recorders - can help investigators piece together what happened before and during a car crash. Just about every new car has one.


A new initiative could allow the government to track how far you drive, however. And it uses a different sort of black box.


The L.A. Times reports that regulators are considering a second black box that explicitly tracks vehicle mileage - and perhaps where you drive - to fund road maintenance. Fuel taxes, which have remained the same for 20 years, fund the bulk of America's 57-year-old Highway Trust Fund to support highway maintenance and public transit. Problem is, the fund is slowly drying up as cars become more fuel efficient.


Enter what experts call mileage-based user fees, the L.A. Times reports. You pay for the mileage you drive, effectively turning every road into a toll road. Some states, like Oregon and Nevada, have already tested such a program. Oregon's 5,000 pilot-program drivers will pay mileage fees instead of fuel taxes. Privacy advocates warn of the potential for Big Brother oversight, but many drivers have already consented to tracking devices - some of which monitor a lot more than mileage - to lower car-insurance rates.


"The gas tax is just not sustainable," University of Minnesota transit expert Lee Munnich told the L.A. Times. "This works out as the most logical alternative over the long term."


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In This Issue
Unperformed Maintenance: 27% of Aftermarket Potential
Interstate Batteries is the Preferred Brand
KS Industries Fined
Road-Usage Tax Coming?
New Vehicle Refrigerant is Not a VOC
November Member of the Month: Phil Fournier
China Allegedly Dumps 134a



Member of the Month

Phil Fournier, Phil's Auto Clinic, Hemet, CA
In his own words:
I was working on my dad's lawnmower before I was a teenager. I built my own go-cart when I was 11 years old. I barely considered any other career even though my dad was a geophysicist with a degree from the Colorado School of Mines and my brother was studying mechanical engineering. I got my first job in a salvage yard at age 13, busting tires.


My brother, the mechanical engineer, lost his job when nuclear power went south after Three Mile Island. My dad decided that purchasing the auto repair business where I worked would be a good idea and give my brother a job. That was 1984 and as they say, the rest is history. 


We learned of ASCCA early on, even before we took ownership of the shop, through the Tim Runner/ASCCA trade shows that were held in Anaheim near the Disneyland park. I went to that trade show starting in 1983 and began to get to know some of the ASCCA members. In 1987, ASCCA honored me (at the time not even a member) for earning the top score in the state of California on the ASE tests. I still display that plaque on my wall, one of my proudest achievements. We joined ASCCA in 1989 to take advantage of the workers comp program, which at that time had a great rebate program through State Fund. But I soon came to see the value was in the interaction and the information sharing. Training opportunities, plusses and minuses of this and that, pending laws, all of this is still a very valuable part of the membership that non-member shops mostly miss out on.


New ASCCA members should get on TeamTalk. Get to the Team Weekends if you can and get to know other ASCCA members. I lament that we can no longer afford to run those trade shows like we once did (I understand the changes that have taken place that prevent it) but I advise new members to get to know the old-timers and learn from them.


ASCCA members like Phil are shining examples of how One Member CAN Make a Difference!

ITC Initiates Investigation into Alleged Dumping by China of 134a


The International Trade Commission (ITC) has initiated "investigations and commencement of preliminary phase antidumping and countervailing duty investigations" to determine whether there is a reasonable indication that companies in the U.S. are being "materially injured or threatened" by imports from China of 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane, otherwise known as 134a. R-134a is used as a refrigerant in vehicle air conditioners. The investigation was initiated based on a petition from Mexichem Fluor Inc. alleging that imports of 134a from China are being subsidized by the government.

The ITC has scheduled a conference in connection with the investigation for Nov. 12 in Washington, D.C. Comments on the notice must be submitted to the ITC by Nov. 15. The commission is required to reach a preliminary determination in the antidumping and countervailing duty investigation in 45 days or by Dec. 6, 2013. A full copy of the Federal Register Notice can be found here

EPA Finalizes Rules that New Vehicle Refrigerant is Not a VOC


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a final rule that would add HFO-1234YF to the list of substances excluded from the regulatory definition of volatile organic compounds (VOC). The agency made this decision based on 1234yf's "negligible contribution to tropospheric ozone formation." Tropospheric ozone is commonly known as smog and is formed when VOCs and nitrogen oxides react in the atmosphere in the presence of sunlight. EPA and many states limit use of VOCs in products in order to minimize smog formation.

1234YF was developed as a substitute refrigerant in motor vehicles for HFC-134a due to its very low global warming potential (GWP) of four. By comparison, 134a has a GWP of 1430. Honeywell had submitted a petition to EPA in 2009 requesting that it be exempt 1234yf from the regulatory definition of VOC.

The EPA notice points out that the action to exclude 1234yf from the VOC definition may also affect whether 1234yf is considered a VOC for state regulatory purposes depending on whether a state relies on the agency's definition of VOCs. EPA further states that, "states are not obligated to exclude from control as VOCs those compounds that the EPA has found to be negligibly reactive. However, states may not take credit for controlling these compounds in their ozone control strategies."

The EPA final rule can be found here.


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Founded in 1940, the Automotive Service Councils of California is the largest independent automotive repair organization in California. Its members represent all areas of the automotive repair industry, including mechanical, auto body, suppliers and educators.